American actress Amber Heard told London’s High Court on Tuesday she punched her ex-husband Johnny Depp because she feared he would push her sister downstairs, as she alleged he had done to his former girlfriend, model Kate Moss.
Heard, 34, is giving evidence on behalf of the Sun newspaper whose publisher, News Group Newspapers, is being sued by her former husband Depp for libel over a 2018 article which labelled him a “wife beater”.
She says the 57-year-old “Pirates of the Caribbean” star attacked her on at least 14 occasions, threatening many times to kill her, and that he slapped, punched, head-butted and kicked her during violent, jealous outbursts brought on by excessive drinking or drug-taking.
Depp denies hitting Heard, and says the claims are a hoax and that he was the victim of her assaults.
On her second day in the witness box, Heard was questioned about an incident in March 2015 when she hit Depp during an argument at their Los Angeles penthouse, saying it was the first time she stood up to him.
She told the court she believed Depp was about to push her sister Whitney down the stairs.
“He was about to push her down the stairs and the moment that happened I remembered information I had heard (that) he pushed a former girlfriend – I believe it was Kate Moss – down the stairs,” Heard told the court.
She said that memory had come to her in “a flash” and she reacted to defend her sister.
Depp’s lawyer Eleanor Laws said this was the first time that Heard had mentioned any recollection of the alleged Moss incident, saying it had not appeared in any of her previous statements or legal declarations.
“I have never changed my story,” said Heard, but agreed she had not said it before.
The lawyer also put it to Heard that Depp could not have grabbed her hair with one hand and punched her with the other during the clash, because one hand was in a cast, caused during another incident between the couple in Australia a few weeks earlier.
Heard said Depp had struck her with the cast, prompting Laws to query why she had never stated this allegation before either.
“You are just making this up as you go along,” the lawyer said.
Heard replied: “I didn’t include every detail or every thought.
” The court was played audio recordings of the couple discussing other arguments during which Depp was heard accusing his ex-wife of punching him and throwing pots and pans at him.
Heard said she had only ever acted in self-defence, saying if she contradicted him he would become violent.
EXCREMENT IN BED Heard also denied that either she or her friends were responsible for leaving faeces in the bed of the penthouse the day after a row following her 30th birthday party.
The court has previously heard a cleaner found the excrement and that Depp said Heard or a friend had done it as a prank.
“Of course not, it’s absolutely disgusting,” she said, suggesting Depp’s dog might be to blame as it had a bowel problem after eating a bag of cannabis as a puppy.
“I can’t fathom what adult would ever do such a thing.
I do not think it’s funny.
” Earlier Heard denied she had an affair with Tesla chief Elon Musk, or anyone else, while she was married to Depp.
She says Depp had accused her of having relationships with numerous co-stars and had become enraged with jealousy which led to violence.
The court was told that Heard had exchanged text messages with Musk in May 2016 after one occasion she says Depp had become violent, and injured her eye and cheek by throwing a phone at her.
Asked whether she had had relationships with anyone else, Heard said: “No, not that that matters much”.
She is due to give evidence over four days and the trial is set to conclude next week, although no ruling is expected immediately.